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Daley Lobbies for IG Power Over Aldermen

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 2, 2010 5:40PM

2010_3_inspector_general.jpg In a series of closed-door meetings, Mayor Daley's lobbyist and Chicago's Inspector General, Joseph Ferguson, met with Aldermen to lobby for an ordinance that would give the IG authority to investigate the city's legislators. According to an investigation by the Tribune, Ferguson and Joan Coogan, head of the mayor's Intergovernmental Affairs office met in small groups last week with aldermen to push the ordinance.

Daley has made similar proposals in the past - when he created the inspector general's office in 1989, he proposed that the IG be given the power to look into hiring abuses and other misconduct at the council level. That proposal was swiftly defeated then. Aldermen have been reluctant to sign on to the proposal, arguing that the inspector general, which is appointed by Daley, is too politically connected to the mayor to be fair. 40th Ward

Alderman Patrick O'Connor introduced similar legislation last year, but with a major difference. His proposal would have established an oversight panel made up of council and mayoral appointees to which the IG answers, a model used in other municipalities to limit the power of the executive. "I think they ignore this at their own political peril," 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore told the Tribune. 33rd Ward Alderman Dick Mell will be hosting small, informal briefings for aldermen only Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the mayor's proposal. "It's a good opportunity for everyone to get together and see what people have to say about it," said Mell, who chairs the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics, which would need to approve the ordinance before it could move to a full council vote.